St. Thomas Aquinas Students Learn About Workplace Safety

On Monday, April 13, 2015, MySafeWork gave a powerful presentation on workplace safety to students and staff at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Oakville. The Minister of Labour, MPP Kevin Flynn, Mayor of Oakville, Rob Burton, and over 40 members of the business community were amongst the guests and panelists in attendance for the special presentation. Also in attendance were Arlene Iantomasi, Vice-Chair of the Halton Catholic District School Board, Superintendent of Education, Toni Pinelli, the Board’s Health & Safety Officer, Kim George, and Pathways Itinerant Teacher, Mike Johnston.

MySafeWork, a charitable foundation aimed at preventing workplace injuries and death in young workers, was founded by Rob Ellis after losing his son, David Ellis, in a workplace accident when he was 18. Rob Ellis and his daughter, Jessica Di Sabatino, offer a unique approach to their safety presentations by bringing students, parents, educators, corporate executives and workers face-to-face to talk about workplace safety.

“I need your help, because I cannot get through this alone,” Rob Ellis shared with students in an emotional recount as he walked them through the tragic events that led up to David’s death. He explained how the tragedy became his current ‘journey in life’ – and how it has become his purpose to travel across the country with Jessica to increase awareness around youth worker safety. According to MySafeWork, young Canadians sustain 125,000 injuries on the job each year.

The presentation at St. Thomas Aquinas was organized by Mhairi Ferguson, Cooperative Education Teacher at STA.

“Student safety is our highest priority,” says Ms. Ferguson. “And a crucial part of our program involves teaching students about potential hazards in the workplace and ensure they are able to demonstrate safe work practices before they head out to their work site co-op placements.”

Learn more about the co-op programs offered through the Halton Catholic District School Board at: HCDSB Pathways and Student Success.

For more information about MySafeWork, visit their website at: http://www.mysafework.com/.